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  • City West Business Park
  • Meadowfield
  • Durham
  • DH7 8ER
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9 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay

4th December 2023

Tooth decay is one of the most common health issues faced by people across the world. When it strikes, it causes cavities to form on your teeth. Initially, early decay causes sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, but this gradually turns to toothache as the surface of your teeth becomes more damaged. 

Cavities need fillings to restore and protect your teeth. Without a filling, any pain and sensitivity will continue, and bacteria may penetrate and infect the tooth. Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable. 

Stopping tooth decay before your teeth become damaged is always the best option. You may have picked up bad habits, either related to your daily oral hygiene routine or to your diet. Relearning about the best way to care for your teeth is important.

In this guide, we’ll share nine simple and effective ways to reduce the risk of tooth decay. 

1. Brush Your Teeth Morning and Night

Cleaning your teeth thoroughly before you head to bed removes any food particles built up through the day while sweeping away the sticky plaque that naturally coats your teeth. 

While night time cleaning helps considerably, your morning cleaning not only freshens your breath for the day ahead, it also removes any bacteria that’s naturally built up during your sleep.

2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens your teeth and stops caries. When shopping for toothpaste, choose an option that contains between 1,350 and 1,500 ppm of fluoride. 

3. Change Your Brush Often

A good toothbrush can make a big difference in how clean your teeth are and, ultimately, how healthy they are. Electric toothbrushes typically clean with greater efficiency. 

Whether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush, your brush head will wear down over time. A worn toothbrush won’t be as effective as a new one. You should change your toothbrush or head every three months or when the bristles become misshapen or worn. 

4. Clean Between Your Teeth

Plaque and food debris don’t just gather in the visible areas of your teeth. They’re present on the biting surfaces, the backs, and, importantly, between the teeth. 

Use interdental brushes or floss to carefully clean between your teeth daily. Other options, like water flossers, are available, but it’s important to buy one that produces enough pressure. 

5. Minimise Your Sugar Intake

Bacteria love sugar and starch. When you eat or drink anything that contains sugars, the bacteria will feed on any left in your mouth. When this happens, the bacteria create acid, which erodes your teeth. 

If you enjoy sugary drinks, sweets, and cakes or take a lot of sugar in your tea or coffee, it might be time to start cutting back. Reducing your sugar intake will give the bacteria less to feed on and minimise potential decay.

6. Avoid Acidic Food and Drinks

Acid erodes the enamel on your teeth, gradually causing cavities to form. Much of the food and drink we take for granted is acidic. Despite being good for you, citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, as well as fresh juices, can cause erosion. 

Other things you may not consider acid but you should be aware of include vinegar, wine, and black coffee. Adding milk to your coffee or enjoying it with food can neutralise its acidity. 

7. Drink More Water

Water is great for your health in general. Staying hydrated benefits your body and your brain, but it’s also good for your teeth. Drinking water helps rinse away debris from your mouth and keeps your breath fresher. 

Drinking little and often throughout your day will make a big difference to your oral health. 

8. Visit Us for Regular Checkups

Routine checkups may not seem important, particularly if you’re not experiencing any dental pain or discomfort. But regular checkups allow us to spot the very early warning signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.

A regular checkup involves a full inspection of your teeth. Here, we’re looking for any cavities or thinning enamel. We may also take x-rays of your teeth and jaws to give a more detailed picture of your oral health. 

Spotting problems early means we may be able to stop them from becoming worse or treat them in the least invasive way possible. 

9. Make Hygiene Appointments

Our hygienists don’t just clean your teeth. In addition to removing hardened tartar that’s stuck tight to the surfaces of your teeth, our hygienist will give you plenty of tips on improving your oral health. This could include tips on brushing and flossing, advice on which products to use, or information on quitting smoking. 

Fighting Tooth Decay at Durham Dental Implant Suite

Prevention is always better than the cure when it comes to tooth decay. With regular checkups, a good hygiene routine, and a healthy diet, you can prevent cavities and the need for fillings and further treatment. 

Book your next checkup or hygiene appointment today.

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